Cultural Life: Paula Rego, artist

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The Independent Culture

Visual Arts

I liked selecting art works from the British Council

Collection for the Whitechapel Gallery exhibition. It was one of the most pleasant things. They have everything in there. It is gobsmacking. There were lots of things we don't see. Black boxes upon black boxes full of old prints and drawings and magic things all over the place. David Hockney's etchings of the 'Brothers Grimms Fairytales' were wonderful. One piece by Colin Hayes, looked like a James Ensor. It was like two manikins dressed up.


'The White Ribbon'. It is stiff and cruel. It had the same atmosphere of severity, that reminded me of Portugal when I was a child. Soon after Portugal became a fascist state. I thought it was wonderful.


'EastEnders'. I just love 'EastEnders'.


I am going to Glyndebourne opera in the summer. I like Portuguese Fado music and the popular Fado singer Mariza. She is marvellous. It's not folk music. It is more complicated than that. It is very moving.

British Council Collection: Thresholds, selected by Paula Rego, is at Whitechapel Gallery, London E1 7Q ( to 14 March